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WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today regarding the outrageous actions of former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL), as well as the failure of the House Republican leadership to address them despite knowledge of some of his behavior:
“Former Representative Mark Foley's behavior is abhorrent and his actions should be fully and immediately investigated. But it is now becoming equally clear that the House Republican leadership knew of at least some of Mr. Foley’s interactions with Pages and, by their inaction, badly failed their responsibility to the children whom they have a duty to protect. It was inappropriate and irresponsible for the leadership, who have no professional training in such matters, to determine that Foley’s messages were simply ‘overly friendly’ and dismiss them.
“In addition, the fact that the Republican Member of Congress in charge of the Page program, Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), failed to include the Democratic Member, Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI), in confronting Mr. Foley and failed to initiate an investigation suggests that protecting Mr. Foley’s political career was a higher priority for Republicans than protecting pages.
“Once again, this Republican leadership failed to ask tough questions, conduct responsible oversight and hold people accountable for wrongdoing. But this time, their failure to act responsibly put at risk young people directly under the House’s care.
“The cover-up and failure to vigorously investigate this matter prolonged the time in which our young Pages were put at risk. I know the American people will find this totally unacceptable.
"Both the House Ethics Committee and the FBI must thoroughly and quickly investigate Mr. Foley, as well as who knew what and when among House Members, including the Republican leadership.”